Reactive oxygen species play an important role in the pathogenesis of several diseases during the perinatal and neonatal period. Melatonin, an effective direct free-radical scavenger and indirect antioxidant agent, diffuses through biological membranes easily and exerts pleiotropic actions on every cell. Several studies have tested the efficacy of melatonin to counteract oxidative damage in diseases of newborn such as chronic lung disease, perinatal brain injury, necrotizing enterocolitis and sepsis, giving promising results. The peculiar perinatal susceptibility to oxidative stress indicates that prophylactic use of antioxidants as melatonin could help to prevent or at least reduce oxidative stress related diseases in newborns. However, more studies are needed to confirm these beneficial effects.
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · Cagliari (Italy) · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · The last ten years, the next ten years in Neonatology
Guest Editors: Vassilios Fanos, Michele Mussap, Gavino Faa, Apostolos Papageorgiou